Toward science-based design in organization development: Codifying the process

A. Georges L. Romme, Inge C.M. Damen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)
13 Downloads (Pure)


Herbert Simon once suggested that the social sciences are actually the hard sciences due to the enormous complexity and interconnectedness of the elements within social systems. This insight is also critical in understanding the nature of change and development of large organizational systems. Adopting a science-based design approach, the authors place emphasis on the importance of developing construction principles and design rules for the implementation of large-scale organization development (OD) interventions. The empirical part of the article draws on several case studies of OD projects that employ the methods of circular redesign. The first case illustrates how implementation may fail as a result of a lack of awareness of the complexity of OD implementation and experimentation processes. The second case suggests that a coherent set of principles and rules can provide a common framework and language for scholars, managers, and consultants working together in large-scale organizational change projects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108-121
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Applied Behavioral Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2007


  • Codification
  • Design rules
  • Organization development
  • Science-based design


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